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The EC Integration Principle and Competition. A genuine change in policy setting and implementation?

Arnadottir, Kristin (2003)
Department of Law
Abstract
A common feature within the European Union is that the responsibilities for environmental protection are separated from those managing natural resources and the economy. There are strong arguments for the idea that to be able to successfully resolve the many environmental challenges that lay ahead, it is necessary to integrate environmental concern in those sectors of the economy that affect them. The principle that environmental concerns should be integrated into EC sectoral policies was first introduced into the EC primary law in 1987. The integration aim got a boost with the placing of the Integration Principle in Article 6 EC which increased the pressure on the EC competition authorities to integrate environmental protection... (More)
A common feature within the European Union is that the responsibilities for environmental protection are separated from those managing natural resources and the economy. There are strong arguments for the idea that to be able to successfully resolve the many environmental challenges that lay ahead, it is necessary to integrate environmental concern in those sectors of the economy that affect them. The principle that environmental concerns should be integrated into EC sectoral policies was first introduced into the EC primary law in 1987. The integration aim got a boost with the placing of the Integration Principle in Article 6 EC which increased the pressure on the EC competition authorities to integrate environmental protection requirement into its policies. Despite heighten political awareness of the necessity to integrate the environment into other policy areas, it has proved difficult to achieve this in practice. The thesis aims to analyse how integration of environmental protection requirement has been defined and implemented into the EC competition policy. Having in mind that the Integration Principle offers a process that has great potential for improving the environment in Member States. The main emphasis was on the exploring three areas of the EC competition policy, first, the general aim of the competition policy with emphasis on its objectives. Second, the main methods that the Commission applies to enhance environmental protection requirements regarding horizontal agreements and lastly, the method of giving State Aid for environmental protection. The thesis explores the debate regarding the Integration Principle's legal meaning and strength at the EC level. The starting point for the argument is that the Integration Principle has little or no legal effect since it is highly improbable that it would amount to a legal test upon which Community acts could be assess and even found unlawful in the event of insufficient integration of environmental concerns. Conversely, the ECJ case law indicates that the Integration Principle can have legal effect and that there is no reason to disregard the Integration Principle as not being compulsory or effective. It was argued that the main methods used by the Commission to enhance environmental protection requirements regarding horizontal agreements are to restrict the scope of application of Article 81(1) EC, or to widening the scope of Article 81(3) EC. The new Horizontal Guidelines, which include for the first time special sections regarding environmental agreements illustrate this point. Decisions of the Commission and the Horizontal Guidelines indicate the Commission willingness to exempt agreements in accordance with Article 81(3) EC solely on environmental benefits of the agreement. The Horizontal Guidelines also indicate that although the DG Competition emphasises the need for other policy areas to respect competition rules when integrating environmental objectives, it has also integrated environmental protection concerns into the competition policy. (Less)
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author
Arnadottir, Kristin
supervisor
organization
year
type
H1 - Master's Degree (One Year)
subject
keywords
European Affairs
language
English
id
1554697
date added to LUP
2010-03-08 15:22:32
date last changed
2010-03-08 15:22:32
@misc{1554697,
  abstract     = {A common feature within the European Union is that the responsibilities for environmental protection are separated from those managing natural resources and the economy. There are strong arguments for the idea that to be able to successfully resolve the many environmental challenges that lay ahead, it is necessary to integrate environmental concern in those sectors of the economy that affect them. The principle that environmental concerns should be integrated into EC sectoral policies was first introduced into the EC primary law in 1987. The integration aim got a boost with the placing of the Integration Principle in Article 6 EC which increased the pressure on the EC competition authorities to integrate environmental protection requirement into its policies. Despite heighten political awareness of the necessity to integrate the environment into other policy areas, it has proved difficult to achieve this in practice. The thesis aims to analyse how integration of environmental protection requirement has been defined and implemented into the EC competition policy. Having in mind that the Integration Principle offers a process that has great potential for improving the environment in Member States. The main emphasis was on the exploring three areas of the EC competition policy, first, the general aim of the competition policy with emphasis on its objectives. Second, the main methods that the Commission applies to enhance environmental protection requirements regarding horizontal agreements and lastly, the method of giving State Aid for environmental protection. The thesis explores the debate regarding the Integration Principle's legal meaning and strength at the EC level. The starting point for the argument is that the Integration Principle has little or no legal effect since it is highly improbable that it would amount to a legal test upon which Community acts could be assess and even found unlawful in the event of insufficient integration of environmental concerns. Conversely, the ECJ case law indicates that the Integration Principle can have legal effect and that there is no reason to disregard the Integration Principle as not being compulsory or effective. It was argued that the main methods used by the Commission to enhance environmental protection requirements regarding horizontal agreements are to restrict the scope of application of Article 81(1) EC, or to widening the scope of Article 81(3) EC. The new Horizontal Guidelines, which include for the first time special sections regarding environmental agreements illustrate this point. Decisions of the Commission and the Horizontal Guidelines indicate the Commission willingness to exempt agreements in accordance with Article 81(3) EC solely on environmental benefits of the agreement. The Horizontal Guidelines also indicate that although the DG Competition emphasises the need for other policy areas to respect competition rules when integrating environmental objectives, it has also integrated environmental protection concerns into the competition policy.},
  author       = {Arnadottir, Kristin},
  keyword      = {European Affairs},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {The EC Integration Principle and Competition. A genuine change in policy setting and implementation?},
  year         = {2003},
}